Terrorism on the Home Front
“In the years [from 1982 to 1991], the Court has heard argument in 30 Fourth Amendment cases involving narcotics. In all but one, the government was the petitioner. All save two involved a search or seizure without a warrant or with a defective warrant. And, in all except three, the Court upheld the constitutionality of the search or seizure. In the meantime, the flow of narcotics cases through the courts has steadily and dramatically increased. No impartial observer could criticize this Court for hindering the progress of the war on drugs. On the contrary, decisions like the one the Court makes today will support the conclusion that this Court has become a loyal foot soldier in the Executive’s fight against crime.”
– Justice John Paul Stevens (dissent; California v. Acevedo)
We learn about the balance of power between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of the government in grade school. To maintain a healthy balance, some healthy suspicion must exist between the varying branches of the government to avoid becoming a carbon copy of what Americans fought against over 200 years ago – pre-colonial British government. The idea that a harmonious coalescence of ideas should exist between the three branches of American Government is perhaps one of the most terroristic anti-American sentiments I can think of. For that sort of unity to exist would mean our government was an oligarchy. A simple American Government class in 8th grade will teach you that we supposedly practice a “Republic Democracy” in the United States. This republic democracy we speak of does not exist. Our lawmakers advance their agendas and merely tell us what we’d like to hear to get elected. Our judges cater to politicians to ensure their livelihood is protected. Our executive does what it wants, creating laws when it has no authority to do so, and selecting judges whose interpretations of the law are malleable – based in allegiance, not an academic reading of our law.
Going back to Justice Steven’s dissent in Acevedo, simply put… The Supreme Court has made itself the foot soldiers of the Executive and Legislative branches of our government. They don’t interpret the law, they ignore stare decisis, they’ve carved out exceptions to our constitution for Police and Private Corporations. To be clear, law enforcement is part of the Executive Branch of the Government. From the President of the United States, to the Department of Justice down to your local cop with the NYPD – they are all governmental actors. If you would object to President Obama and the Secret Service entering into your home, spying on your private activities, then you should also object to police officers targeting a specific population and violating the 4th Amendment. I find that when I point out that a travesty against my client’s constitutional rights has occured, people act as if combatting crime would be impossible without these violations. I say – committing these constitutional violations, stripping people of their dignity with warrantless searches and baseless arrest are evidence of terrorism upon the principles of the United States Constitution.
If you love America, if you believe you have an interest in what America stands for, then you have a lot of work to do. I charge myself with the duty of redeeming this country from its sordid past. I also charge myself with the duty of opposing the widespread practice of institutional terrorism. You must oppose this with me. We can’t let our law enforcement ruffle with the social fabric of our communities by conveniently ignoring our Constitution.